• July 24, 2024 12:58 PM


Kelly Slater is always a great interview, whether it’s on the booth at a WSL event or to a local newspaper reporter after a heat win at Lowers. Enter the always affable, quirky Mark Occilupo — who’s just started his new ’Occ-Cast’, and happened to be on hand in Tahiti the day before Kelly won the Billabong Pro — and what follows is 40 minutes of sheer listening enjoyment.

Here’s a sample about the fact that Kelly hadn’t surfed hardly at all between J-Bay and Teahupoo. Occ mentions that this is pretty common and asks why.

Kelly’s response:

“For whatever reason, if I’m not motivated, I’ll just save it till I get a heat and it wakes me up. I don’t think you can pull that off at a wave where it’s about maneuvers and flow — I think you have to be on your game for airs and turns and timing and everything’s perfect.

“But in barrels, it’s like riding a bike. It’s more about reading the lineup than it is about the surfing. When it comes to barrel riding, it’s about small, technical things in the barrel and how greedy you want to get and how deep you wanna get in the tube. But that’s second nature.”

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